In our new ‘Market Haul of Fame’ series we sneak a peek into the shopping baskets of some Sydney’s leading chefs and food personalities. This week, Claire Van Vuuren from Bloodwood has chosen some delicious Winter produce from the market that is sure to spark inspiration in our kitchens.
These rather unattractive tubers can be very divisive. I love them, and most chefs can’t wait for the season to start so we can add them to our menus. I’ve had a few bartenders and apprentices confuse them for tasteless ginger – that always gets a laugh.
I love to eat Jerusalem artichokes raw or pickled and often add them to salads. They have a delicious sweet, earthiness of flavour and crunch.
Pro-tip is to make sure you clean them very well as the dirt and sand hides in the little cracks and knobs. So give them a good soak and scrub. If using them raw, they will oxidise, so slice them just before use or slice into water with a little lemon in it.
Australian Black Truffles
Nothing is more aromatic and decadent than black truffles, they add an element of luxury to a dish that nothing else can re-create. My suggestion for truffles is to keep it simple – you want the truffle to stand out. Truffles pair beautifully with butter, cheese or fat. I love to make a delicious mac and cheese and grate a generous amount of truffles over the top.
To get the most out of your truffle you need to store them correctly. I place my truffles in kitchen towel in an air tight container in the fridge. Make sure you change the paper every few days to avoid the truffle going soggy. Truffles should be firm and dry and full of perfume.
Garlic would have to be one of the most commonly used ingredients you can get, and adds depth and flavour to most dishes. I love garlic. We often forget that garlic actually has a season! When you eat it fresh and in-season, local garlic will blow your mind. Make sure you buy fresh garlic and then store it correctly, which will ensure you can keep using it for weeks.
My favourite super garlicy recipe is Toum – the delicious, intense garlic sauce you get with Lebanese chicken. Toum is easier to make than you think and can be stored in fridge for months. To make Toum you blend peeled garlic, lemon juice, salt and oil in a food processor. Simple!
Potatoes are my favourite vegetable – I know this is strange for a chef to admit. I could eat them daily. Most people stick to standard supermarket potato varieties and don’t realise that there are so many different types. Essentially, a potato for every occasion!
I suggest that you get a little creative and buy a mix of potatoes so you can experience their variety in flavour.
Wash the potatoes very well, place in a large pot and cover with cold water. Add some salt, pepper, olive oil and a few garlic cloves. Bring this to the boil. Once the potatoes are almost tender I turn off the heat and then leave them in the salty water to cool a bit. Once they aren’t too hot to handle, drain them from the water and cut into rough chunks, add a big knob of butter and a handful of chopped parsley and a bit more salt and pepper. Enjoy tasting the different textures and flavours that each variety offers.
Radicchio is a delicious Italian vegetable, half-way between a lettuce and a cabbage with a delicious bitter taste. Radicchio can be eaten raw or cooked and has a much sweeter taste if cooked. I always keep radicchio in my fridge and add it to all my salads as a compliment to lettuce or grill it on the BBQ. Radicchio is also super delicious pickled.
Treat radicchio just as you would lettuce. Give it a nice wash and add generous amount of oil, vinegar, salt and pepper. Their bitterness goes very well when you add a little sweetness, so grab your favourite aged balsamic and drizzle it over a wedge of radicchio with a little grated parmesan. The sweet, bitter and salty combination is amazing!
Find all these ingredients at the Carriageworks Farmers Market, every Saturday from 8am – 1pm.